English. Circa 1720


Height: 74 3/4" (190cm)
Width: 45 1/4" (115cm)
Depth: 8" (20cm)

Of carved and painted deal. The old but later oval plate within a bold egg and dart frame tied on each side with acanthus clasps and surmounted by a large three-feathered plume resting on crossed cornucopiae, the whole frame garlanded with trailing fruit and foliage and terminating in a winged putto mask. Traces of gilding beneath white painted decoration.

Temple Newsam House, Yorkshire.
Recorded in the State Bedroom at Temple Newsam in the inventory of 1902,
Sold as Lot 403 in the sale of the contents of Temple Newsam House, 1922,
And thence by descent to the previous owner.

Adam Bowett, Early Georgian Furniture 1715-1740, 2009; p. 299, pl. 6:65.

This magnificent mirror previously formed part of the decoration of the State Bedroom at Temple Newsam house in Yorkshire.

It is mentioned in the surviving inventories of the house of 1902 as being in the State Bedroom: “Large oval mirror in a carved wood frame”. It is later recorded in the sale of Temple Newsam House contents, Leeds in 1922, lot 403, again in the same room as” An upright mirror of oval form, in white paineted frame, boldly carved with lip and tounge moulding, fruit, flowers, and chrub’s head, with surmount of Prince of Wales Feathers”. At the sale it was acquired by Lady Mary Meynell.

Temple Newsam is regarded as one of the most celebrated historic houses in England due, in part, to the survival of the early seventeenth-century building, but also to the magnificent collection of furniture belonging to Leeds City Art Galleries which is now housed there. The existing facade of the house (figure 1) was rebuilt in 1630 by Sir Arthur Ingram, in whose family the house remained until it was sold with many of its contents in 1922.

The relationship of the mirror to the decorative schemes which would have graced the house in the early eighteenth century is apparent from its similarities with the carving to the chimney piece which still stands in one of the bedrooms, with its floral swags and putto mask (figure 2).

The boldly carved frame of the mirror contains elements of both the Baroque and Palladian styles and as such represents a transition between the two. The overflowing cornucopia, the fruit and foliate garlands which surround the frame, and the winged putto mask below the mirror plate are characteristic of the Baroque carving of English craftsmen such as Grinling Gibbons (1648-1721). Gibbons is credited with creating this stylistic vocabulary which dominated the decoration of English country houses in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.

Full research report available on request.

Full research report available on request.